23 Jul 2013

Asus EeePC 4G Surf revival

Update: Consider running the x86 port of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on your Asus EeePC 4G Surf. Download the android-x86-4.0-RC2-eeepc.iso here and follow the instructions for installation.You won't believe how slick it will make your old EeePC!

I recently dug out my old EeePC from the back of my closet and tweaked it to better than new. The improvement is mostly thanks to a fresh installation of Zorin-OS 7 lite which I think is a totally awesome Linux distro for this netbook. It's a shame that Asus didn't use something more like Zorin-OS with the initial 2007 release of the EeePC, but it's only been around since 2009. I never imagined I could be running Chrome 28 on my EeePC and I easily re-installed Frozen Bubble and Extreme Tux Racer from the Ubuntu repositories - It's so much easier to install software  than it was using Xandros and everything is up to date!

During my investigations into upgrading the OS, I also came across suggestions that the EeePC uses standard laptop RAM (DDR2), this was a nice find as I had a spare 1GB DDR2 laptop module lying around. It was no mean feat to get to the RAM slot as the white version of the EeePC doesn't have a door underneath (apparently the black one does). I'm not going to document the full process (you can watch a video here), but I can confirm that if you carefully dismantle a white 4G Surf, you will find a standard laptop RAM slot on the back side of the motherboard. It was worth the effort as my 1GB module is working great and more RAM is always better!

I deleted all the factory drive partitions during installation (from a USB stick) and assigned the full internal 4GB drive to Zorin-OS. In the spirit of putting redundant hardware to work I slapped in an old 1GB SD card as well and set this up as the swap partition. I've got a full 1.3GB of free space on my 4G now which I didn't even dream of previously and while the 4G Surf remains well past its use by date I think I have actually made mine fairly useful again.


Anonymous said...

This post is a lie. Zorin 7 lite needs 4GB but the EEE PC 701 only has 3.78.

either that or we really are in the matrix and my eyes are not telling the truth...

Rich said...

Nope, no lies here... you'd have to try it for yourself to believe it I guess... As I mentioned at the start of the post though, you should probably try and run Android instead of Zorin even - It's better suited to the EeePc 4G.